St. Michael-Albertville Girls Soccer State Tournament Bound
It took a shootout, but the Knights girls' soccer team erased last year's nightmare and advanced to the Class 2A dance.
Who cares if you can't seem to "buy a goal," even when you have a couple of clear breakaways.
It really doesn't seem to matter when you have MiCale Jensen between the pipes.
Jensen came up huge Tuesday night in the Section 8-2A final, making two saves in the shootout as St. Michael-Albertville topped Anoka to make it to the state tournament.
"She's [MiCale] just steady. She's been a starter for so long, and she knows what she has to do for our defense back there. To have that on the field is what you need," said head coach Megan Johnson prior to the end of the regular season.
Her teammates call her "Mick," and she came up big again and again Tuesday night, stopping a high breakaway shot in the second half and keeping Anoka out of the nets.
It was pure redemption for the Knights, who fell 2-1 at Anoka last year after leading 1-0 at halftime.
"They're a well-coached team, and they're always going to be there," said Johnson of Anoka.
STMA finished the season 14-1-3, its lone loss a 1-0 loss to Buffalo.
The Knights defense has allowed no more than one goal in a single game all season, and four of the last five games for Jensen have been shutouts.
The Class 2A tournament field will be seeded by the Minnesota State High School League later this week. Games begin next week at a neutral site, to be determined.
The semifinal games are set for Oct. 29 at Metrodome/Mall of America Field. The state championship game is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.